UNESCO on July 7th announced that the Hoh Xil Nature Reserve in China's Qinghai Province become a natural heritage site, marking the 51st UNESCO site of this country.
Hoh Xil (also named Kekexili) is a natural habitat of breathtaking beauty located in the northwestern part of the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau. Covering an area of 45,000 square kilometers (17,400 square miles), this nature reserve is home to over 200 animal species, including the Tibetan antelope.
The plight of the Tibetan antelope, pushed to the brink of extinction by poachers looking to take their warm wool, was brought to the attention of the general public in China after the release of Chinese film Kekexili: Mountain Patrol in 2004. In recent years, central and local government agencies have implemented strong measures to protect these animals - a move which has allowed the population to grow from around 70,000 to 200,000. Hopefully, becoming a World Heritage site will help with wildlife protection efforts in the region.